100 Bible Quotes

100 Bible Quotes
Bible verses to memorize

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100 Bible Quotes gives you the most popular and well known Bible verses grouped in themes for easy memorization. Additional sections add other Bible passages. These quotations are from the world’s most famous book, now translated into 700 languages and additional New Testament translations into another 1500 languages.

Contents

Introduction

Part 1: 100 Bible Quotes
1  God’s Love,  God’s Greatness
2  God’s Presence,  God’s Help
3  God’s Provision,  God’s Guidance
4  God’s Kingdom,  Faith
5  Jesus’ Authority,  Jesus’ Help
6  With Jesus,  In Jesus
7  Holy Spirit,  Thoughts
8  Prayer,  Promises
9  Love,  Light
10 Joy,  Peace
11  Strength,  Wholeness
12  Choose,  Salvation,  Word of God

Part 2: Great Passages
God’s Glory
Jesus
Ten Commandments
Declarations
Prayers
Benedictions
Love
Psalms
A – Z Verses
Index
Appendix 1: New Christian’s Guide
Appendix 2: Books  

                                                                                  

From the Introduction

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.  (Psalm 119:11)

The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.

(Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:24-25)

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.  (2 Timothy 3:16 NRSV)

These four verses about God’s Word leapt into my mind as I started writing this book. Then I checked with Google and Bible Gateway (www.biblegateway.com) for the references and to compare translations. If you type one verse into Bible Gateway you can find a link to 50 different translations of that verse.

This book uses the New King James Version the most because it is closest in today’s English to the majestic Authorized Version (AV) and is easy to memorize. The AV uses italics for English words added into the text to make sense in English. I sometimes use the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) because it also follows the historic Authorized Version of 1611 but uses more current inclusive English, as in 2 Timothy 3:16 above.  Sometimes I also use the popular New International Version (NIV).

The 100 passages or verses are easy to memorize, such as one or two verses each week for a year. Of course, it’s very easy to learn more than one or two a week, and you may already know many of these verses from memory. They are especially useful for new Christians, and for God’s Spirit to remind you when needed.

I have arranged these Bible verses or passages into themes of about four verses each to easily find similar verses or passages on that theme. You can also use it to memorize the verses in each theme in a month, or eight in a month, or more quickly.

The 100 Bible quotes are in large print for easy memorizing. It’s a good idea to learn the reference with the verse because you can then locate them easily in your Bible, compare translations, and refer to them when talking with someone such as a new Christian or someone interested in Christianity.

You can reproduce this book, or its verses, in any way you choose. God’s Word is not bound and we need to learn it, apply it to life, and share it widely. God’s Spirit will often remind you of verses you have learned, especially when you need them.

This book is freely available in PDF and Word versions in colour here and is also available in print and as an eBook. You can reproduce the PDF and Word versions in your social media or print your own copies.

Some of the themes

1  God’s Love
John 3:16-17   God so loved the world
Romans 5:8   God has shown his love
Romans 8:38-39   who can separate us
1 John 4:9-10   God’s love revealed

God’s Greatness
Psalm 86:10   you are great
Psalm 145:3   great is the Lord
Isaiah 55:8-9   heavens higher
Luke 1:37   nothing impossible

2  God’s Presence
Exodus 33:14   my presence
Psalm 127:1   unless the Lord builds
Lamentations 3:22-23   new every morning
Hebrews 13:5   I will never leave

God’s Help
Genesis 15:1   your shield
Isaiah 41:10   I am with you
Isaiah 41:13   I will help you
Philippians 4:6   not anxious

3  God’s Provision
Matthew 6:33   seek first God’s kingdom
Psalm 37:4   delight yourself in the Lord
Romans 8:28   all things work together
Philippians 4:19   my God shall supply all

God’s Guidance
Psalm 32:8   I will instruct you
Proverbs 3:5-6   he will direct your path
Romans 12:1-2   living sacrifice
Jeremiah 29:11-13   the plans I have

A – Z Bible Verses

A – Z Verses

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. – Joshua 24:15
Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you – Matthew 7:7

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. – Acts 16:31
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32

Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you. – Psalm 55:22
Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. – Ephesians 6:1

Depart from evil and do good. – Psalm 34:14
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6

Encourage one another and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Every good and perfect gift is from above –  James 1:17

Fear not for I am with you. – Isaiah 43:5
For it is by grace you have been saved – Ephesians 2:8

God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble – Psalm 46:1
God is love – 1 John 4:8

Honour your father and your mother. – Exodus 20:12
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken – Psalm 62:6

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made – Psalm 139:14
I
am the way, the truth, and the life – John 14:6

Jesus Christ is Lord – Philippians 2:11
J
esus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. – Hebrews 13:8

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies – Psalm 34:13
Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture – Psalm 100:3

Look unto me and be saved.  – Isaiah 45:22
Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people – Psalm 56:7; Matthew 21:13
M
ake a joyful noise unto the Lord – Psalm 98:4

Nothing is impossible with God. – Luke 1:37
Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling – Jude 24

O God you are my God earnestly will I seek you. – Psalm 63:1
O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good. – Psalm 118:1

Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God. – Psalm 147:1
P
eace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. – John 14:27

Quietly, wait for the salvation of the Lord. – Lamentations 3:26
Quench not the spirit. – 1 Thessalonians 5:19

Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. – Exodus 20:8
R
ejoice in the Lord always again I say rejoice. – Philippians 4:4

Seek the Lord while he may be found. – Isaiah 55:6
S
eek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – Matthew 6:33

This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24
T
rust in the Lord with all your heart – Proverbs 3:5

Under his wings you will find refuge – Psalm 91:4b
U
nderstanding is a fountain of life to one who has it. – Proverbs 16:22 (NASB)

Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. – John 6:47
Verily, verily, I say to you, whatever you shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it to you.  – John 16:23

When I am afraid I will trust in you. – Psalm 56:3
W
e love because he first loved us. – 1 John 4:19

eXalt the Lord our God – Psalm 99:5
eXamine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith. – 2 Corinthians 13:5

You are the light of the world. – Matthew 5:14
You bought us with a price.-  I Corinthians 6:20

Zion heard and was glad.  – Psalm 97:8
Zeal for your house will consume me. – John 2:17

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New Christian’s Guide

     
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New Christian’s Guide

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READ SAMPLE

New Christian’s Guide gives you a basic introduction to living the Christian life through faith in Jesus Christ your Saviour and Lord.

New Christian’s Guide is an introductory guide for new Christians starting out in their life in Christ. It covers basic essentials including Jesus’ instructions on loving God and loving others, with these topics:

Introduction: Welcome to God’s Family

1  Love God

Faith in God – God our Father
Saving Faith
Gift of Faith

Follow Me – Jesus our Lord
Follow Jesus in obedience
Follow Jesus in his Word
Follow Jesus in prayer & worship
Follow Jesus in fellowship
Follow Jesus in service

Follow Jesus in mission

Filled with the Spirit – the Holy Spirit our Guide
Born of the Spirit
Living in the Spirit
Led by the Spirit
Fruit & Gifts of the Spirit

2  Love Others
Love one another
Serve one another
Encourage one another

Conclusion   

Here is the beginning of this book. 

Introduction

Welcome to God’s eternal family. I’m writing this book as a personal letter to you, a new Christian who believes in Jesus. You have given your life to him and you want to follow him and live for him.

If you are already a growing Christian you may find some help in this Guide also. And if you have not yet chosen to be a Christian and follow Jesus, this may help you to decide.

Billions of people believe in Jesus, the Son of God, our Saviour, so you have joined a huge worldwide family of God. Probably somebody told you about Jesus, perhaps a preacher or a friend, or maybe you just want to read more about him.

So welcome to the family of God. We believe in God our Father, we believe in Jesus Christ his Son our Saviour and Lord, and we believe in God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, who lives in us and gives us new life, our Christian life. ‘Christian’ means Christ in you!

Our Christian life begins with faith. We trust in God. We believe in Jesus, God’s Son, as our Saviour and Lord or King. We have faith that God lives in us by his Spirit and that we live in God now and forever.

That’s good news. Really good news. The most famous verse in the Bible puts it this way:

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Now that you believe in Jesus and trust him with your life you have eternal life. That eternal life does not start when you die. It starts now and never ends. Jesus said:

This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent (John 17:3).

You have done that. You have given your life to God and he has given you new life, his life in you. Because you believe in Jesus and trust him, God lives in you by his Spirit, and you live in God. You have given your life to him and he has given his life to you. So you know him, your God, and you know Jesus your Saviour, because God’s Spirit now lives in you and makes everything new:

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

What’s new?

You are forgiven. When you believe in Jesus your Saviour you ask him to forgive you for all your sin, and he promises to do that: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness  (1 John 1:8-9).

You are clean. That promise reminds us that God goes on cleansing us, not just once, but always, as we trust him and continue to acknowledge or confess our sin and failures. You can do that quickly, and at any time, such as thinking or saying, “Sorry.” Make it a habit. Keep short accounts with God!

You have new life, eternal life. That’s God’s promise. He gives his life to you and lives in you by his Spirit who is also the Spirit of Jesus. So Jesus lives in you by his Spirit and you now have new life: I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me (Galatians 2:20).

So the old life has gone and a new life, eternal life, has begun in you. You are born again with new life, God’s life ion you.

You are in God’s family. You have a worldwide family of God’s people, your brothers and sisters. You will get to know some of them well in your local church or group. You will also find many brothers and sisters in other places worldwide. We all share God’s life together and we grow in the unity of his Spirit.

What about problems?

Does this new life mean we are now free from all our problems and difficulties? No, but we do have a new life as we encounter problems and difficulties. We have God’s help and guidance in new ways. God promises to guide and help us, and Jesus promised that his Spirit, the Holy Spirit, would help us.

You now have this amazing new life with God your Father and Jesus your Saviour and Lord living in you by his Spirit, the Holy Spirit, who helps us. Jesus said:

If you love Me, keep My commandments.  And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever — the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you (John 14:15-18).

You have God’s help, always. That never ends. So we face our problems and difficulties trusting in God to help and guide us.

How do we go about living this new life with God’s help?

We keep on trusting him. We keep on living for him, with his help and strength. He is our intimate Friend and Guide.

So the title of this little book is not mainly about principles but about a Person. The New Christian’s Guide is God in us, Jesus living his life in us by his Spirit, and guiding us.

That’s a life-long adventure! We can all learn to let God be our Guide more fully, and trust in Jesus to lead and help us by his Spirit now within us, teaching us, leading us, helping us, empowering us, and transforming us.

So, do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).

Easy to say – hard to do!

Yes, in some ways it is easier said than done. Living the Christian life is not always a piece of cake. It can be tough at times as we keep listening to Jesus and obeying him. But, as an old hymn says:

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Living this new Christian life means that we trust and obey our Guide. He leads us by his Spirit within us. So now, as you read this, you could pause and thank him that he is with you, he is within you, and he promises to guide you.

If you find some resistance inside you, just confess it. We all resist God’s great love and holiness at times, so we need to just confess that, know that he forgives and cleanses us, and that he promises to help and strengthen us as we live for him.

The rest of this New Christian’s Guide is my attempt to help you follow your eternal Guide, your Father God, your Saviour Jesus, and your Guide and Helper the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said that the most important commandments of all are just two, so let’s explore that with our New Christian’s Guide:

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it:

‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:37-40).

Our obedience springs from love and flows strong in God’s love.  We love Him because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).

 Love is why we obey

Jesus says that we will obey his commandments because of our love for him. We obey from love, not just from duty.  Our duty becomes our delight. We love him and love to live for him and please him.

We understand about obeying in love with people we really love such as our parents or husband or wife.  We love to please them because we love them.  It’s our delight, not just a duty. We love to please or obey them, and we are so happy when our love pleases them.

Jesus’ obedience was a natural part of his loving relationship with his Father, and he calls us into loving obedience also.

If you keep My commandments you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love (John 15:10).

Jesus lived in full fellowship and intimate loving relationship with his Father. Consequently, his obedience flowed naturally and supernaturally from that.

So this book explores how we can obey Jesus in love by loving God and loving others.  Loving God and loving others are inter-related.  John, the Apostle of love, reminds us:

Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also (1 John 4:20-21).

Believing in God and in his Son Jesus changes us and enables us to love God and to love one another.

Love God

Jesus reminds us that the greatest of all the commandments is to love God.

God’s love for us brings us into a loving relationship with him and with others. You could thank him for his love right now!

C S Lewis wrote, “On the whole, God’s love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for Him. Nobody can always have devout feelings: and even if we could, feelings are not what God principally cares about. Christian Love, either towards God or towards man, is an affair of the will. If we are trying to do His will we are obeying the commandment, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.’ He will give us feelings of love if He pleases. We cannot create them for ourselves, and we must not demand them as a right. But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not” (Mere Christianity, Book 3, Chapter 9, emphasis added).

Jesus pointed out that our God who loves us is One Being. Jesus and the Father are one in eternal union with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, I and the Father are one. … Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. … But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. (John 10:30; 14:23, 26). We have one God revealed in three divine persons who love us: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

That is a divine mystery, but God reveals himself to us as we believe in him and trust him daily.

Here is a simple way to understand how God is always with us and within us.

We breathe all the time, usually without thinking about it. Now that you are thinking about it you may even breathe more deeply, or take in more breath!

The Bible has one word for breath, wind and spirit. So translators choose the most appropriate English word to translate it from Hebrew (ruah) or Greek (pnuema).

Our natural breathing is rather like breathing in the breath of God of the Spirit of God, by faith. Just as our physical breathing helps to cleanse our lungs and bodies so our spiritual breathing also cleanses us.

We breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide continually without even thinking about it. Similarly, in our relationship with God we continually inhale God’s breath, his Spirit, and exhale impurities, by faith, by trusting God.

Another physical picture or parallel is how our heart continually pumps blood throughout our bodies without us thinking about it, cleansing our bodies. Similarly, the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, goes on cleansing us from our sin, for if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).

That verse gives us another picture or parallel. The sun always shines, even on cloudy days. So in daylight we live in the light without thinking about it. It’s natural. We can see. Similarly, as we live by faith in God we live in his light. God is light and in him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).

As a Christian, you are born again into a new life with God, who is light, so you live in his light. Living that way means that you are continually cleansed because of Jesus’ blood given for us all in his death on the cross. So now you have new life, the life of God’s Spirit living in you constantly.

All of that helps us to love and thank God for all he has done for us in creating us, redeeming us from sin, and living in us as we live in him by faith.

So this section on loving God looks at these three dimensions of loving God:
Faith in God our Father
Following Jesus our Lord
Filled with the Spirit our Guide

 A prayer of faith you can pray:

Thank you my Father and God for loving me.
Thank you Jesus my Saviour and Lord for dying for me.
Thank you Holy Spirit of God for living in me and giving me new life, the life of Jesus in me.
Forgive me for my sin and I choose you now.
Thank you Lord my God for forgiving me and saving me.
I give my life to you and I choose to live for you.
Help me to live for you always.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

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100 Bible Quotes – PDF


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BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

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Primordial events in Theology and Science support a life/death ethic, by Martin J. Rice

Primordial events in Theology and Science support a life/death ethic

by Martin J. Rice

Martin Rice (Ph.D.) has written and taught in science and theology, including teaching at Christian Heritage College School of Ministries in Brisbane where he completed his Graduate Diploma in Ministry Studies.  This article is a shortened and adapted version of a paper, given at the Contemporary Issues in Ministry Conference, 2003, at Christian Heritage College, Brisbane, Australia.

Renewal Journal 19: Church PDF

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Primordial events in theology and science support a life/death ethic, by Martin Rice:
https://renewaljournal.com/?p=3362&preview=true

An article in Renewal Journal 20: Life:

Summary: Primordial events in both theology and science support a basic life/death ethic

Several remarkable coincidences between some primordial events described in the Bible and, independently uncovered through the programmes of modern science, facilitate the derivation of basic, binary ethical principles.  Such broadly-based principles are potentially widely influential, by virtue of their primordial and grand, contextualizing character.  Whilst the time-scales of these events are always likely to be contentious, the biblical and scientific events themselves are strikingly similar, and generally not contentious.  Although it could be argued that the coincidences are artificial, the Bible having influenced the scientists’ interpretation of their data, an even stronger argument can be made for independence of the two data-sets.  Such coincidences, therefore, suggest nature itself (for example the night sky, the reef, and the rainforest) advertises a grand context; a life/death context, that conditions all ethics.  Common principles, derived from the science and the theology of primordial events, clearly modulate the viewpoint that ethics are an entirely culturally-determined, social construct.  They also add an ethically instructive note to our enjoyment of the harmony of our spectacular environment.

This hybrid paper, is offered with something of the attitudes of Arthur Peacocke (1996, p.94), who writes, “But to pray and to worship and to act we need supportable and believable models and images of the One to whom prayer, worship and action are to be directed.”; and of Hugh Ross (1999, p.47), who says, “Rather than elevating human beings and demoting God, scientific discoveries do just the opposite.  Reality allows less room than ever for glorifying humans and more and than ever for glorifying God.”

Introduction: evangelism goes out and meets people where they reside (Acts 1:8).

Scientifically trained people sometimes ask challenging questions of the Christian faith.  For example, among believers it is not usual to ask, “Why did God create a universe having the observable characteristics of our one?  Or, “What is the connection between the invisible God and our visible space/time reality?”  Or, “How does eternal Life compare with earthly life?”  If asked, they are usually answered with general truths, like, “It is to give God glory”, or, “Because God is a loving, creator God”, or, “Because God’s Word says so and I believe it”.  However, most contemporary thinkers seek more technically specific answers.  Failing that, they are likely to turn off from hearing the Gospel.  In addition, ethical relativism thrives in situations where a connection between God and human society is perceived as distant, tenuous, or imaginary.  Such negative outcomes make it pertinent for theologians, students of the Bible, ethicists, and evangelists to be aware of the actual questions being asked, and to work at addressing specific issues, in terms of appositely contextualized biblical revelation (see Carson, 2000).  Jesus guaranties the power of the Holy Spirit for those who will witness to the Gospel in diverse situations (Acts 1:8); however, it is not reasonable to expect God’s Spirit to over-ride sound logic and reason, since these come from the same Spirit (e.g. 1 Kings 4:29; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 1:17; 4:23; Hebrews 8:10; 1 Peter 1:12,13).  As Mark Ramsey, a well-known preacher, puts it, “The Bible says you are transformed by the renewing of your mind, not by the removal of your mind!”.  This means transformed cerebration but also standing out, being different, being a loving community of ‘resident aliens’ in an over-individualised world (see Carson, 1996, p.478).

The substantial contributions of intellectuals who submitted to God, such as Isaiah, Saul of Tarsus, Luke the physician, Augustine of Hippo, Hildegard of Bingen, etc., demonstrates that evangelizing thinkers could be worth while.  Great minds are created by God to do great good but, without Christ, they may do great harm.  Evangelising intellectuals is a priority: what the University thinks today, Society will enact tomorrow!  Might our society be reaping a bitter harvest from its earlier neglect of sowing well- reasoned seed, and its failure to cultivate the fields of academia with the Gospel?  Empowered by the Holy Spirit of God, academics who are Blood-washed, born-again, and Bible-believing, should be able to produce wiser and more powerful intellectual advances.  Did Jesus ever say to steer clear of academe and the intellectual knowledge enterprise?  Matthew 13:52 would suggest otherwise; here the learned of God’s Kingdom are told to become wise in applying both ancient and contemporary knowledge.  Matthew 6:33 emphasises, that for those who are submitted to God’s rule, everything else follows.  Pearcey and Thaxton (1994), and Murphy (2003), provide excellent philosophical underpinning for the harmonizing of science and theology.

Thoroughly intellectual Christians are capable of the best.  J. Rodman Williams (1996) has set a bench-mark in producing, Renewal Theology – Systematic Theology from a Charismatic Perspective.  C. Peter Wagner is another author from the pentecostal stream, who writes at a high academic level.  In addition, there are many from the evangelical stream (most famously C. S. Lewis) able to reach the intellectuals, including thinkers like Francis Schaeffer, Ravi Zacharias, Os Guiness, Nancy Pearcey, D. A. Carson, Gordon D. Fee, and many others.  In Australia, Kirsten Birkett, author of  Unnatural Enemies – an introduction to science and Christianity (1997), edits Kategoria, an excellent, Christian, critical review, published by Matthias Media, Kingsford, NSW.  A new frontline, research journal has appeared called Theology and Science (Volume 1, Number 1, April 2003, sponsored by The Centre for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Berkeley).  Whilst some of the papers in this journal and its progenitor (CTNS Bulletin) may be insufficiently founded on Holy Scripture for many believers, they do at least address controversial issues in the theology, science, philosophy, and society interface, and thus invade the academic strongholds of atheism, with ideas of God.  With the confidence of God’s judgment against worldly wisdom (1 Corinthians 3:18-20), the academy of pentecostal thinkers is surely even more mandated to invade every domain of thought with the light, life, logic, and love of Jesus Christ (e.g. Colossians 2:2-4).

To the ends of the Earth: a scientific world-view

Much that is written in science and technology has powerful theological overtones (usually without the conscious knowledge of its authors!) and often has implications for human culture and ethics.  In 1959, C.P Snow’s The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution appealed for greater acknowledgement of the relationship between the arts, government, and science.  Snow would have been amazed how drastically things had changed, 40 years on, when Willimon (1999) wrote, “It has been one of the great postmodernist discoveries that almost everything is opinion.  Almost everything is value laden.  We have no way of talking about things except through words, and words, be they the words of science or the words of art, are more conflicted than they may first appear, more narrative dependent, story based.  Science is as ‘religious’ as religion.”  Historian, Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1970), alerted scientists to the tremendous influence their imagination has in directing the path of science.

Philosophers of science (such as A.F. Chalmers, in the 1999 edition of his, What is this

thing called Science) are now thoroughly cognizant with the apparent impossibility of finding a truly objective foundation for the scientific endeavour.  That is not to say that science isn’t largely objective; after all, no one has to think twice before getting into a motor vehicle or using a computer.  It does mean, however, that any opinions that science expresses on why its products work, or what the larger context is, are fraught with contradictions.  Science on its own is able to tell us how things work (within limits), but it is unable to say why they work, nor what the overall grand story is.  The “why” question is intimately linked to questions about the origin and destiny of all things, and it is here that science becomes inarticulate.  In fact, as this paper moves to demonstrate, science needs Christian revelation to support its major world-view, and to complete its contextual integrity.  Science and Christianity are great partners but awful opponents.  The common view that they are separate and irreconcilable ways of knowing [or NOMA, non-overlapping magisteria {cf. the late Stephen J. Gould’s Rocks of Ages (1999)}], should never be acceptable to a Christian.  In contrast, Richard H. Bube (1995) has derived a taxonomy of the variety of possible productive relationships between the Christian faith and science.  Carlson (2000), provides a thorough debate of this issue. In this paper there is no attempt to dictate from parts of Holy Scripture as to what scientists must believe.

Creation Scientists have fully occupied that area, loyally and creatively defending the Word of God, and producing a library of literature and multi-media (e.g. see web sites: http://www.icr.org; http://www.ChristianAnswers.Net; http://www.answersingenesis.org; etc.).  Whereas, much of Creation Science can be seen as a form of apologetic defense and of confrontational rhetoric {e.g. In Six Days – Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation, edited by John F. Ashton  (2001)}, the approach outlined in this paper is frankly evangelical, and essays to be eirenically logical.  This, different type of approach, does not overtly contradict but reaches out to encounter science where it is, and enlivens and elevates it through biblical insights, built around a philosophy that could be called ‘Invasion Theology’.  At no stage does invasion theology attempt to prove science wrong by quoting scripture, but neither does it compromise God’s Word by syncretising it with un-Christian views of the meaning of scientific discoveries.  The vision is to meet an enquirer on their own scientific territory and, right there, to demonstrate that God’s Word stretches into science, and that the living Word is able to lead scientists intellectually and personally into the arms of Christ.  The apostle Paul was comfortable to be a Jew with Jews, a Gentile with Gentiles, and weak with the weak. Paul teaches Christians to focus on winning as many souls for Christ as possible, by any fair means that work (1 Corinthians 9:20-22).  He also warns Titus to avoid futile arguments (Titus 3:9).  In the same ethos, invasion theology consciously evades religiosity.  For a variety other points of approaches to the Genesis issue, see Hagopian (2001).

The most profound place of encounter between science and Christianity is at the primordial events that generated the observable universe we live in.  To find out ‘how science thinks’ is not problematic; a web subscription to the weekly, world-leading science journal, Nature, is sufficient to provide clear information on the latest discoveries and developing theories.  Science is renowned for the instability of its theories of origins, but most of the time in recent years it has considered our universe of space/time to have originated from nothing, by means of a ‘Big Bang’.  In big bang theory, a non-space/time ‘singularity’ becomes (against all statistical probability) unstable, and generates the commencement of our universe, in the form of a gigantic bubble of expanding space, light, heat energy, and time.  The energy then produces matter: subatomic entities such as quarks, that eventually cooperate to form the simplest of all chemical species, hydrogen atoms.  Billions of tons of hydrogen become attracted together by gravity and eventually form stars.  Stars are hydrogen-consuming, thermonuclear, fusion reactors, generating heat and light on a grand scale.  Stars also manufacture the lower atomic weight elements, and, when a star eventually ages and explodes as a supernova, it also synthesises the higher atomic weight elements.  This generates most of the chemical elements of the Periodic Table and widely scatters them through space, to form inter-stellar dust clouds, which are able to aggregate by gravitational attraction, to form planets, satellites, meteorites, and comets.  Some of these may then revolve around a star, to form arrangements, such as we observe in our own planetary system.  Science then proposes that (if conditions are right on the surface of a planet) microbial, plant, animal, and even human life may develop.  Generations of human societies accumulate knowledge and skills to the point where they invent science and technology, develop radio-telescopes and cyclotrons, and begin speculating about primordial events!  This story depends upon profound cooperation (including loss of personal identity) among the diverse varieties of cosmic entities.  It is the standpoint of this paper that far too much emphasis has been placed on competitive interactions and this now needs to be adjusted to reveal the extent to which our universe depends upon cooperation.

Just as science has originated a detailed narrative to explain the birth of our universe, it also attempts to extrapolate from its data to predict how the universe may die.  The earth first, scorched by an expanding red-giant sun; the universe next, as it attains maximum entropy and time ceases.  Such a simplistic, atheistic cosmology is deeply unsatisfying to any thinking, feeling human being.  In the cosmogenesis of unaided science (which in parts can yet be extraordinarily detailed and well substantiated) everything happens by accident, with no meaning beyond the mechanics of existence and survival; ethics are simply a by-product of an arbitary requirement for social stability.  Science’s non-theological universe is thus deadly cold; a place of frustrated hopes; a frantic, meaningless interlude of light, life and pain-wracked consciousness, caught between two periods of unstructured, lifeless, utter darkness.  This raw scientific vision mocks at the beauty and meaning of light and life and love, by chaining it between preceding and succeeding eons of darkness, death, and empty loveless-ness.  Truly, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” (Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5).  The very rawness of this unadorned scientific worldview cries out for the Christian ministry of wisdom, faith, encouragement and, indeed, for deliverance.

The indispensable Word of God: the Bible adds meaning to science’s worldview

The Biblical story of primordial events is largely found in the early chapters of the book of Genesis.  The first part of the first chapter of John’s Gospel is crucial, and there are key verses in the Psalms, Job, Isaiah, Matthew, Romans, 1 Timothy, Hebrews, 1 and 2 Peter, Jude, and Revelation.  The Christian understanding of the origins of our universe can never be separated from Christology, since it pleased God the Father to make his Christ the creator of all that exists, in the spiritual, as well as the material universe; the Christ antedates all things, and entities only obtain their meaning and function from him (Colossians 1:15-19).  Polkinghorne (1988, p.69) writes, “One’s instinct to seek a unified view of reality is theologically underwritten by belief in the Creator who is the single ground of all that is.”  The challenge for a Christian thinker is to come to such a knowledge of God’s Word, as to be able to provide a bridge from Christ to the lost world of scientism, described at the end of the section above.    In order to achieve that, it may be necessary to re-examine cherished beliefs (like the sexual transmission of ‘original sin’) that have come down the centuries from early church fathers, like Augustine.  A thoroughly biblical worldview is required, to meet science and the intellectuals at the place where they labour today, not where they loitered many centuries ago (cf. Mt 13:52).  Paul instructs Timothy to make full use of the holy scriptures (verses that are full of God’s life-giving breath) to teach, train, and equip for good works; and to correct error, and rebuke wrongdoing (2 Timothy 3:16).  Inspired by the Lord, the Holy Spirit, this surely must be a life-giving journey into God’s reality, and never a matter of dead religion.

In such a short paper as this, it is not possible to fully develop major theological points, and that work has to be left for another venue.  However, to develop the basic argument, summary positions have had to be taken regarding the nature of God, the origin of evil, the sequence of primordial events, the reason for our universe to exist, and the predicted outcome of it all.  Much further reading is available, and authors such as Southgate (1999) have developed excellent teaching programmes at the interfaces of science and theology.  Multi-disciplinary courses in this area are proliferating and becoming popular in many good universities.

It is not hard to convince many scientifically educated modern or post-modern thinkers that science is inadequate to measure ethical qualities such as: faithfulness, kindness, justice, mercy, humility, righteousness, love, joy, peace, holiness, forgiveness, patience, self control, etc.  This then permits the suggestion that there are entities beyond the containment of our space/time universe; a suggestion confirmed by fundamental physics in regard to the mathematical value of constants governing the forces that subtend the material universe.  Our universe very clearly has inputs from outside its ‘box’.  That those inputs are highly tuned to produce circumstances conducive to human existence is also demonstrable.  The scientific evidence for design (and hence the Designer) grows stronger every year (e.g. Dembski and Kushiner, 2001).  A scientifically-literate enquirer might then be led to consider the possibility that the God of Christians is truly the same person as the unseen designer of our universe, the originator of uniquely human persons; an inspiring, self-giving God of light, reason, life and love.

Regarding the nature of God, the Bible clearly states that he alone is immortal, dwells in unapproachable light, and is impossible for a human being to see (1 Timothy 6:16); that God is love (1 John 4:8), and is spirit (John 4:24); that his invisible qualities can be clearly learned from unbiased examination of the world around us (Romans 1:20); and that everything we need to know about God has been revealed to us by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (e.g. Philippians 2:6; John 6:36; 10:30; 14:9).

Since God, and God’s dwelling place, are full of light, life, love, holiness, and perfect order (e.g. 1 John 1:5), the question arises as to where the disorder described in Genesis 1:2 comes from.  What is the origin of the pre-existent darkness, formless emptiness, and watery depths (perhaps a hebraism for ‘rebellion’).  This question is rarely addressed theologically but, in the context of outreaching to those scientists aware of the yawning nullity proposed to precede the Big Bang, it is especially pertinent.  Theologically, the answer can hardly be less than that the Genesis 1:2 situation, described by Moses, is evidence for the revolt of Satan and his rebel angels.  Jesus said that he saw Satan fall like a bolt of lightening and that could well refer to an incident before the creation of our universe (Luke 10:18).  Darkness in scripture is almost always (though not invariably) associated with evil (2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:11; 2 Peter 2:17; Jude 6,13, etc.).  A foundational proposal, here called ‘Invasion Theology’, is that a pre-existing negation of God’s immortal, life-giving love, a rebellion, locked in the deepest darkness, has been laid bare, and exposed in its minutest detail, by the Christ of God.  It is proposed that Christ achieved this by invading that dark, chaotic pre-primordial place with our universe of light, life and love.  This concept is bolstered by 1 John 3:8, when the verse is taken as a statement regarding the eternal work of the Christ, not just his earthly mission revealed in Jesus of Nazareth.  In that sense, when Jesus says, “It is finished” (John 19:30), are there not overtones of his unceasing work, that started with the most primordial of events (Gn 2:2)?  Whilst this may be an unusual view to theologians, it functions well as a bridge between the understanding of primordial events proposed by science and that revealed in the Bible.  Invasion theology makes it almost inevitable that there would be a deceitful, death-dealing serpent loose in God’s Garden, at the ‘start’ (Genesis 3:1-4)!  Invasion theology would view Adam, Eve and their children as delegates of God, mandated to extend the invasion throughout the earth, revealing and destroying the various levels of the princedom of darkness.  As God’s people, Israel inherited the same sacred task, and Christ’s church is commissioned for similar work today.

Finally, Jesus Christ appeared in the flesh and, by his life and teaching, comprehensively demonstrated the victory of life over death. The invasion was complete, empowered and now to be extended to every creature.  The resurrection of Christ is, in that sense, the most important event of cosmic history.  The Resurrection guaranties his words regarding the forgiveness of sin, his prophesies about end-time events and the regeneration of all things.  These are processes and events beyond the direct reach of science, though the evidence for Christ’s resurrection is objectively excellent (Stroebel, 1998).

Consequences of an invasion theology worldview: a basic binary ethical overview

A crucial point in any scheme of ethics is the definition of GOOD (e.g. Honderich, 1995, p.587).  From the invasion theological perspective, ‘good’ is seen in the invasion of negation.  That is, God’s activity in creating light, logic, life, and love; bringing into being a whole cosmos of meaning, reason, beauty, and worship.  This may provide a way out of the dilemma first formulated in Plato’s Euthyphro, in that good is good both because God commands it and because of what it enacts (Honderich, op. cit.).  It may be thought that there could be no coincidences here between theology and science, simply on the grounds that whilst ‘good’ is a proper object of study for ethics and theology, it falls outside the boundaries of science. Surely science is concerned only with the accuracy of data and the productivity (truth) of its hypotheses, theories, and laws?  However, upon reflection that judgment might have to be revised.  Science simply cannot avoid conceding that those factors that enable it to exist and to operate successfully are essentially ‘good’.  Science did not exist, nor could it exist, in the pre-existing darkness of negation.  Such a darkness and negation are not neutral, they are inimical to, and clearly subvert, the essential foundations of science itself, and so science would not be remiss in referring to them as objectively ‘evil’.

Factors such as light, logic, life, and love are essential for the very existence of science.  Without light scientists could not see, without logic (part of wisdom) there would be no rational basis for science, without life there would be no humans to work in science, without love and cooperation our society would be so violent as to afford insufficient opportunity for science.  Science must admit that the pre-primordial darkness of negation  (revealed in the Bible and independently described by science) is evil and its invasion by light, logic, life, and love is good.  The work of establishing order, understanding, and cooperation in our universe is unarguably the basis for the scientific endeavour; any resurgence of chaos and confusion is an anti-scientific force.  So at its very heart, science is far from being an ethically-neutral discipline.  This truth may come as a shock to most practicing scientists and technologists!  Factors that facilitate science are unconsciously accepted as ‘good’, and those that degrade the scientific process are ‘bad’.  Working scientists are in the habit of applauding research work as either ‘good science’ or denigrating it as ‘bad science’.  To be meaningful and productive, science relies completely upon the immanence of logic and reliability in the universe, upon the integrity and skill of the scientists themselves, on the probity and standards of the community of scientists, and ultimately upon the sustaining interest and/or support of Society.

Peacock (1990, p.129) quotes atheist, Stephen Hawking, “Why does the Universe go to all the bother of existing?  Is the Unified Theory so compelling that it brings about its own existence?  Or does it need a Creator, and if so, does he have any other effect on the universe?”  Peacock (1990 p.132) writes that Hawking, examining the uniformity of the initial state of the Universe, concluded that, so carefully were things chosen that, “it would be very difficult to explain why the Universe should have begun this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.”  Peacock (1990, p.143) also writes, ‘in a letter of January 1633 . . . Galileo wrote, “Thus the world is the work and the scriptures the word of the same God.”  Truth itself is one, yet lies make it into a binary system.  Peacock (1990, p.88) again, describes Fred Hoyle’s attempt to dispense with the idea of a creation moment by introducing a steady-state model, based on ‘continuous creation’ at the centre of the Universe and dissipation at the edges; an effort that was criticized by Stanley Jaki as, “the most daring trick ever given a scientific veneer”!  Science is full of such binary ethical judgments; and examples range from honest mistakes, through weak thinking, right up to outright fraud and corruption of the scientific process.  Scientific truth is subject to the same limitations and degrading influences as any other branch of truth and, indeed, the created universe itself.  It, we, and God’s own Spirit all groan over this painful situation (Romans 8:22,23,26).  The whole cosmic enterprise is attacked and harassed, being subjected to frustration and decay, living in hope of the emergence of humans who are pleasing to God (Romans 8:21,22).  The whole of creation finds fulfillment in the revelation of the true followers of Christ; who are the harvest the universe is scheduled to produce (Romans 8:19).  The book of Revelation is primarily concerned with the final exposure and destruction of the rebellious work of the devil, and the identification of the faithful co-workers of Christ.  In one sense, the whole cosmic story is summarized in those two events, both of them giving great glory to God.

Independently, Christianity and science have revealed remarkably coincident views of primordial reality:

  1. Good is the desirable overall context and precedes evil;
  2. Evil is an aberrant subset that separates from good;
  3. Good is logical, orderly, consistent and reliable;
  4. Evil is unreliable, treacherous and chaotic;
  5. Good, by its nature, invades evil;
  6. Evil resists and corrupts good;
  7. Good does not rest until evil is eliminated.

The visible reveals the invisible: binary ethics gazes out at us, wherever we look

Of all the visually spectacular features of our universe, the greatest must surely be the night sky, viewed from a high place or country area, free from obscuring clouds, air pollution, and light contamination.  The awesome beauty and breathtaking wonder of the endlessly diverse, and seemingly countless, stars, and of our Milky Way galaxy, beggar rational description.  In our age of science, an observer can be expected to read much more meaning into that scene than simply its awesome beauty.  Primordial negation is the backdrop, a thing of timeless darkness: energy-less, substance-less, lifeless, inhuman, loveless; a murderous place of death, darkness, deception, and hate.  But countless beautiful lights burn in that darkness; time extends its merciful reign; planets revolve around suns; life flourishes on planetary surfaces, and it challenges the very teeth of negation; consciousness bursts forth, accompanied by conscience; literature and the arts flourish, and the dear Lord becomes known by name.  Is it any wonder that God drove his prophets and his people into the wilderness so often, where the visible sky teaches of the invisible majesty of the Lord?  The scientific details of modern cosmology contains many more parables that supports the ideas of invasion theology and of a basic binary ethic.

Australia still has some relic rainforests remaining.  They are places of extraordinary biological variety, productivity, and unusual longevity; highly diverse and highly stable ecosystems.  Rainforests rarely have any one species in large numbers, instead they seem to be knitted together by levels of multiple mutualism.  Cooperation between species is their dominant motif.  Rainforests advertise to humanity the advantages of unity and mutual help, as effective means of withstanding the assaults of chaos and destruction.

The Great Barrier Reef is justly one of Australia’s most renowned biological resources and arguably the largest living thing on planet Earth.  The GBR is about 2,000 km long, occupying an area of about 200,000 square km, where the requirements for clear, unpolluted, shallow, warm, salty, moving water are satisfied.   The GBR depends for its existence upon a minute organism – the coral polyp.  Without countless trillions of these tiny anthozoans, building their colonies and providing food and shelter to a dazzling array of much larger and more sophisticated animals, there would be no reef.  The coral polyps themselves are of about 400 varieties.  Their beautiful colours are mostly provided by the symbiotic algae that live within their bodies.  The glory of the reef is thus sustained, at its base, by the humble mutual service of two very different types of simple organism.  The life of corals, though simple, provides for a profusion of amazing, and often subtly complex living beings (including delicious species of fish, crustaceans and mollusks!), that would otherwise not exist.  The many ethical messages of this scenario need little emphasis.

It is remarkable that though the night sky, rainforests, and the reef are some of the most photographed objects in existence, yet their use as teaching examples for ethics courses would not be so well known.  They contain countless spectacular examples of invasion theology and its perennial ethic of the boldness of light, transparency, order, cooperation, and life penetrating and flourishing over the spiteful negation of concealment, darkness, chaos, antipathy, and death.

Conclusion:

It is hoped that this paper’s melding of science, theology, ethics and nature provides a useful starting point for thinking about the very foundations of life and death.  Certainly the postmodern dilemmas (e.g. “The pursuit of knowledge without knowing who we are or why we exist, combined with a war on our imaginations by the entertainment industry, leaves us at the mercy of power with no morality.” Zacharias, 2000, p.23) cries out for an objective reality.  Perhaps science and theology, in an uncharacteristic symbiosis, are together becoming strong enough to point convincingly to the Rock of reality.

Bibliography

Ashton, J. F., editor (1999). In six days. Sydney: New Holland.

Birkett, K. (1997). Unnatural enemies. Sydney: Matthias.

Bube, R. A. (1995). Putting it all together. New York: University Press of America.

Chalmers, A. F. (1999). What is this thing called science? Brisbane: UQ Press.

Carlson, R. F. (2000). Science and Christianity. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP.

Carson, D. A. (1996). The gagging of God. Leicester: Apollos.

Carson, D. A. (2000). Telling the truth. Grand Rapids, Mich.; Zondervan.

Dembski, W. A. and Kushiner, J. M., editors (2001). Signs of intelligence. Grand Rapids,

Mich.: Brazos.

Gould, S. J. (1999). Rocks of ages. New York: Ballantine.

Hagopian, D. G., editor (2001). The Genesis debate. Mission Viejo, Cal.: CruxPress.

Honderich, T. (1995). The Oxford companion to philosophy. Oxford: OUP.

Murphy, N. (2003). On the role of philosophy in theology-science dialogue. Theology and Science 1:79-93.

Peacock, R. E. (1990). A brief history of eternity. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway.

Peacocke, A. T. (1996). God and science. London: SCM.

Pearcey, N. R. and Thaxton, C. B. (1994). The soul of science. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway.

Polkinghorne, J. Science and creation. London: SPK.

Ross, H. (1999). Beyond the cosmos. Colorado Springs, Col.: NavPress.

Southgate, C., editor (1999). God, humanity and the cosmos. Edinburgh: T & T Clark.

Stroebel, L. (1998). The case for Christ. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan.

Williams, J. R. (1996). Renewal theology. Grand Rapids, Mich.; Zondervan.

Willimon, W. H. (1994). The intrusive word. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans.

Zacharias, R. (2000). In Carson, D. A., editor (2000).

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